Errol Barnes, Esq.

The lawyer sitting across the table from Floyd had a greasy look. “It appears your brother Errol Barnes, esquire, has left you a hotel, ” he said.

“Son, I haven’t spoke to Errol in fifty years. Why in hell would he do that?”

He opened his briefcase and took out a stained letter. “This may explain, Mr. Barnes.”

Dear Floyd,
I bet you wonder why I am giving you the Hotel Charro. I bought it in 1970 as an investment and it has been the death of me. I hope it has the same effect on you.

Yours in hell everlasting, Errol


Friday Fictioneers

This story comes from my early attempt as a syndicated cartoonist in which the central character, Floyd Barnes, inherits a crumbling hotel full of elderly cranks. It was not picked up, but I had fun drawing it. Here’s a sample Sunday panel  introducing Mrs. Krebster, an old woman who thinks that Floyd is his late brother  Errol. She still talks to him even though she knows Errol is dead.

from 4/18/93


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  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    I’ve always thought there’d be a lot of pressure on a syndicated cartoonist to keep up the momentum. I don’t now why you didn’t get picked up. Delightful. I get it, though. I was turned down by Hallmark twice and decided they’re not worthy. ;)

    Your story gave me a chuckle. It reminded me of an old joke about the man who was shocked to find he was included in his a relative’s will. When it was read, the final line to him was something like, “To Heime who never thought I’d give him the time of day, ‘Hello Heime.’

    Aside from my long winded comment…Good story.



  2. pennygadd51

    What a nice pair of brothers! Sibling rivalry beyond the grave. Nice imagining, Josh, and, as always, excellently crafted. I love the mirroring “Why in hell?”…”Yours in hell” That’s a lovely touch.

  3. Lynn Love

    What a great story! Love that last line in the letter. And your cartoon is great Josh – perhaps a carton strip about elderly people would be more popular now as there are so many of them! :)

  4. Norma

    Haha! He’ll have to sort out a remedy soon otherwise both the brothers will meet in the grave where they could be in talking terms… who knows.
    Your story made me chuckle. Nice cartoon.

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